Antony Blinken says he was unaware of any government documents brought to the Penn Biden Center

Antony Blinken says he’s “surprised” that classified documents have been found at the Biden think tank he runs – and pledges full cooperation with Justice Department investigation

  • Antony Blinken broke his silence on the matter at a press conference on Tuesday
  • He was executive director of the Penn Biden Center in Washington for two years

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday he would work with the special counsel investigating how classified documents were discovered in Joe Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.

Blinken served as the center’s executive director for two years.

“I was surprised to learn that government records were brought to the Penn Biden Center,” he said in his first public comments on the matter.

“I had no idea at the time.

“The White House has, of course, indicated that the administration is fully cooperating with the review being conducted by the Justice Department.

“And I would of course cooperate with this review myself.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday he would work with the special counsel to investigate how classified documents were discovered in Joe Biden's office

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday he would work with the special counsel to investigate how classified documents were discovered in Joe Biden’s office

Blinken is Biden’s most trusted foreign policy wok, and served as his national security adviser when he was vice president.

They stayed close when Biden left office. Blinken was installed as executive director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which was affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania but is located in Washington.

Secret documents were found there in November last year. The discovery sparked a scandal that dominated the headlines for 10 days with a drip, drip, drip of revelations.

The White House had previously tried to stave off criticism of its fragmentary disclosures, insisting it may have to withhold information to protect the Justice Department’s investigation.

“We strive to be as transparent and informative as we can to all of you in the media and to the public to respect the integrity of an ongoing Justice Department investigation,” Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House Attorney’s Office, told the Reporter .

But that hasn’t stopped a spate of questions about who knew what and when, after the original November discovery was kept secret for two months.

How the government documents scandal has played out since secret records were found in Biden's office at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2

How the government documents scandal has played out since secret records were found in Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2

Blinken made the comments during a press conference alongside British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at the Foreign Office on Tuesday afternoon

Blinken made the comments during a press conference alongside British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at the Foreign Office on Tuesday afternoon

The final twist came on Saturday when the White House revealed lawyers had found classified documents and official records on four separate occasions – on November 2 at the offices of the Penn Biden Center, on December 20 at the garage of the President’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and on November 11 and 12 at the President’s home library.

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Bradford Betz

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